Happy Leap Day Y’all!

Here it is…the day you’ve waited four years for. February 29th–that extra day that keeps us up to date with the orbit of the earth around the sun.

That means you have an extra day to get caught up on those items you’ve been putting off, like going to the gym (remember that resolution?).

I guess you can just kick back and enjoy this extra 24 hour period. What do you mean your employer will frown on that notion. Maybe you need a realistic employer. I mean they can take advantage of this day too. Can’t they?

Anybody born on this date can only truly celebrate their birthday every four years. I think they age as much as the rest of us. Don’t quote me on that. I’m sure they don’t want that pointed out to anybody.

Even with this extra day February is still the shortest month of the year. Why did it get so short changed to begin with. Seems unfair to me. Not that February ever argued about it.

How did that first r get ever get placed in the month’s name anyway? We don’t bother using it in our speech. Apparently the extra letter makes up for the lack of days.

It would even be more complicated if this day occurred on a Wednesday. That’s a few extra letters every week. Eek gad!

Since this is considered a leap year then today is the leap day. All the kangaroos and frogs now have something to hop about. Do kangaroos go on a hop about?

I guess since most of the frogs in the northern hemisphere are still hibernating (no thanks to that woodchuck, I mean groundhog) they’ll sleep right through this day for leaping. What a waste of an extra day. Does their employer know about this laziness?

Seriously, why does our government choose this year every four years to hold a national election for president? I suppose if we have an extra day to throw away that’s as good an excuse as any.

Has anybody else noticed that this election is turning into more of a reality TV show than a battle for principals for our nation? God help us all.

Don’t be surprised when Texas uses its right to secede from the union after this one is up. Just a hunch.

Who do you wish you could have one more day with?

Last year at this time my siblings and I were preparing for my Mom’s memorial service. I gave a eulogy for us. One more day would be nice.

Martha and Mary thought their time with their little brother was done, until Jesus stepped back into their lives.

Poor Lazarus had to die twice. I wonder if it was easier the second time around.

Has Jesus stepped into your life in a profound way?

My Mom knows Jesus on a personal level. Yeah, you read that right. She isn’t past tense. She’s in the presence of Jesus as you read this.

One day I’ll be with them to continue our existence forever.

Where will you spend your eternity?

We all have a destiny that transcends our time on this earth. Where you go after you cross that portal of death is determined by how you treat Jesus.

Anything short of accepting Jesus as your Savior and your eternity will involve weeping and gnashing of teeth according to Jesus.

It won’t matter if you die on a date that comes around only once every four years or not.

You have this life to decide which destiny is yours. Smoking, or non-smoking?

Keep smiling.   Wade

A PROMISE AND A DENIAL

Abraham stared at the heat waves rising from the plains. His head nodded. “A nap would be nice, but the tent’s too hot.”

A bead of sweat rolled down his side. He rubbed his arm across the area to stop the tickle. He swatted at a fly buzzing his right ear.

That’s when he noticed three men standing near the trees. He recognized the one immediately.

He ran over and fell at their feet. “Please, stay and refresh yourselves here. I’ll have some water brought out to wash your feet. I can have a meal ready quickly. Allow me this before you go.”

Jesus tipped His head. “As you wish.”

Abraham spun around and entered the tent. Sarah was talking with some servant girls.

He grabbed Sarah’s arm. “Get some flour and bake three servings of bread. Quickly!”

Sarah stepped back. “Why? What’s going on now?”

Abraham rushed to the back of the tent. “We have company…very important company.”

He snatched a rope off the tent peg and motioned for a servant boy to follow him into the herd.

A plump calf stood as he approached. Abraham wrapped the rope around its neck, then handed the rope to the boy. “Take this to the men to prepare as fast as possible. I need it for a meal.”

He pushed the boy’s back. “Quickly! When you’re done here take some water in a basin with a towel. Go to the three men under the trees. Wash their feet..and do a good job.”

The air was soon filled with the aroma of baking bread and roasting beef.

Abraham took a jug and milked the calf’s mother.

As Sarah balanced the three plates on Abraham’s arms the boy returned with the empty basin.

Abraham glanced at the boy. “Did you wash them well?”

The boy shrugged. “Their feet were clean before I got to them. The one man said he couldn’t have done a better job, when I was done.”

Abraham walked out and handed the plates to the men. He watched in silence as they ate.

Jesus swallowed His last bite and drank the last of the milk before He looked at Abraham. “Where’s Sarah?”

Abraham pointed over his shoulder. “She’s in the tent, resting.”

“I’ll be back in about a year to see her son.”

Abraham’s mouth dropped open. A woman’s sigh was heard by the men.

Jesus stood. “Why did Sarah laugh at that thought. Is anything too hard for God? I shall return to see Isaac, your son.”

Sarah stuck her head around the tent flap. “I didn’t laugh.”

Jesus stared at her. “We all heard you laugh.”

********

A ninety year old woman having a baby by a 100 year old man. What’s not to laugh about? It’s especially humorous when you realize they’ve been trying to start a family since their youth with no success.

That guy has definitely been out in the heat too long. That must have been the thought that went through Sarah’s head at that time.

She likely lost track of the last time she even had a monthly flow. She gave up on having a child decades ago, but God didn’t

Have you ever laughed at the impossible situation you find yourself in?

Don’t be afraid to let out a belly laugh when things appear most hopeless. That’s when God does His best work.

When you have as much unlimited power as God nothing is considered audacious. The word impossible isn’t even in your thoughts.

From our point of view impossible is the best word we can come up with.

Here’s a suggestion. Stop looking at things from your point of view. Get to know God so well that you see him in every circumstance in your life. Yes, even the horrendous things.

That job you lost based on a minor event. God has a plan for you that doesn’t include that company. Move on.

That accident you were in that nearly totaled your car. I hope you learned the lessons God brought to you then. Gain insight.

That relationship that went south after it seemed secure. God never promised us people would never leave. Rely on Him.

All things are working together for our good according to Romans 8:28.

It doesn’t say that all things are good at the time they happen.

Nobody eats a stew right after they place the ingredients in the slow cooker. They wait for the heat to soften the morsels and bring their flavor out. Time is needed for any good meal.

Time is also required in your life for it to make sense.

Don’t rush to judge the “good” in your situation. Take life one step at a time. God will lead you to someone else going through the same thing who needs to hear how you coped. By then you will be able to tell them your story. You will heal as you help them heal.

Romans 8:29 explains that the good God is designing is making us more like His Son Jesus.

Becoming like Jesus is impossible to achieve on our own efforts.

When God brings painful things in your life it means He thinks you’re worth the stress it takes to be more like His Son.

Anybody can coast into heaven after their salvation.

Some people are destined to make a mark by their example.

Sacrifice and suffering aren’t popular for a reason. They’re hard.

Sacrifice and suffering are exactly what Jesus endured while here on earth.

If you’re enduring it’s because God is building you into an image of His child.

He wants you experience a closeness to Him that not everybody can fathom.

When you enter God’s presence you’ll know in an instant that it was all worth it.

Everybody will see the family resemblance in your face and smile.

God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah. Isaac was born right on time.

Tests were still coming, but faith was built strong.

We’re still learning from their trials and test.

Nothing is ever wasted.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Happy 2/22 Day Y’all!

So, what’s so special about three twos on the same date? Some of you want to know.

I don’t know either. I just noticed it and decided to write a blog post about it. That’s all.

Last month we celebrated 1/11 day, so I thought 2/22 day needed some recognition, too.

No, I just checked, there’s no 3/33 day next month. So just bear with me here until I get off this kick I’m on.

They say two is less lonely than one. I’m not totally convinced of that. Especially since I survived a few years living with someone who claimed she “fell out of love” with me.

Sharing meals and a bed with the person you pledged your life to only to be rejected is extremely lonely. Sorry, this is supposed to be a humor post. I promise to lighten things up now.

Two is an interesting word to understand, too. Did you catch the use of all three forms of the word “2”?

That’s two or three letters that sound the same to the human ear but have different meanings when used in print. Oh yeah, there’s a lot of confusion in their usage, too.

Two is the double unit measurement. To is the prepositional word. While too means also when used at the end of a sentence and adds heft to an adjective. That’s just too many definitions for this Webster to keep track of, too.

We devised the word twelve instead of twoteen, just to keep twelve-year-olds bearable one more year. I’m not sure that worked out too well.

The most famous use of the word to is attributed to Shakespeare when he penned, “To be or not to be? That is the question.” Did he ever give a solid answer to that query? I’m not a big fan of Sir William. That’s why I’m asking.

God brought the animals to the Ark in groups of two just to propagate each species He wanted after the flood. I know why the dinosaurs didn’t survive that cataclysm. They simply didn’t fit. You’ll see that in the app I have coming out someday.

Joshua sent two spies into Jericho instead of twelve like Moses did. His experience told him a committee that large was too often wrong.

We’re also told in the Bible that Jesus sent His disciples out in groups of two once. I guess a second time would have proven too devastating or something.

Jesus was much more fond of the number one than two. He told folks He is the way, the truth and the life. He was too narrow-minded to leave room for another entrance into heaven.

How do I know Jesus is right while the others are wrong?

How many of them healed sick people, gave sight to blind folks or raised anybody from the dead?

That’s what I thought. Their miracles don’t hold a candle to what Jesus did with ease. Wait, what do you mean they don’t have any miracles to back their claims up? Why are people listening to them then?

You likely don’t get a paid day off just because this is 2/22 day, but if you did what would you do with it?

Hopefully you’d find a friend to spend the day with so the two of you could have fun, too.

Okay, I know, that’s two too many sentences using all three forms of to in them.

To make sure I’m done doing that I’ll sign off before two o’clock, too.

Keep smiling, too.   Wade

A REQUEST FOLLOWED BY ACTION

Abram strolled around one of his flocks of sheep in the cool of the morning. He tried to remember the size of his herds when he first entered Canaan. It felt like a lifetime ago. In many ways it was.

Ishmael’s birth changed everything by giving a legitimate heir to hand this all off to. When he closed his eyes he could still see God’s fire passing between the animal halves he brought to God as requested. How many times had he attempted to count the stars?

When he opened his eyes God was standing in front to him.

“I am God Almighty. My covenant is with you as you walk before Me. I will make you a mighty nation.”

Abram fell to his knees and placed his face on the ground at God’s feet.

“Your name shall now be Abraham, the father of many. Kings and nations shall come from you. I am making my covenant between you and Me an everlasting one. Your descendants shall follow Me also. The entire land of Canaan belongs to your descendants, even though you are a stranger here.

“This is the covenant you and your descendants must keep before Me from this time forward. Every male, whether born to you or bought by you, shall be circumcised as a sign of this covenant. Every male child shall be circumcised at eight days old for every generation to follow. Any male not circumcised shall be removed from My people since he has not followed this covenant ritual.

“As for Sarai you shall call her Sarah from now on. I will give you a son by her. Kings and a nation will come from her.”

Abraham laughed at that thought. “Shall a 100 year old man have a son by a ninety year old woman?” He looked up. “Ishmael can have Your blessing. Can’t he?”

“Yes, but My covenant shall be by Sarah’s son. You are to name him Isaac. Ishmael will indeed be blessed by being fruitful to twelve tribes. My ultimate blessing will come to Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you next year at this time.”

Abraham turned around when he heard some voices. When he spun back God was gone.

He gathered every man and boy to fulfill God’s covenant with him and them.

********

So now Abram, exalted father, gets his name changed to Abraham, father of many, at the age of ninety nine. He thought God was joking with him at first. Who wouldn’t?

A laugh escaped him when the thought entered his mind. Does God know how long it’s been since my wife has had her period? She’ll be ninety and I’ll be one hundred years old. That just doesn’t make sense.

God does his best work when things make the least amount of sense.

Why did God ask Abraham to remove that unnecessary flap of skin on his penis, and every male in his company? Why did this promised son come only after this operation?

Scholars have been kicking that question around for centuries with no conclusive answer. The best guess I can think of brings me to a time God spoke with a man tending sheep.

When Moses talked with the burning bush God told him to remove his sandals because Moses was standing on holy ground. The sandals were a barrier between Moses and the presence of God’s proximity.

Maybe the skin represented a “barrier” between human conception on the natural level and God’s soon to be miraculous conception that would come only after its removal. That’s my best guess, that doesn’t count for much.

And the name changes…what’s up with that?

Whenever God changes a person’s name in the Bible their life is about to change as well. Think Simon to Peter, or Saul to Paul, both the fisherman and the Pharisee became mighty Apostles for Jesus. But, they had to shed themselves of their old life first.

That’s the symbolism of baptism. We wash our old life off like the water washes our dirt away. Our new life can really take root only after the old ways are abandoned.

God’s people would bear the intimate mark of belonging to God’s chosen race by circumcision. God’s blessings would come after the removal of this represented barrier.

I love the way God uses symbolism.

An interesting sidelight here. Doctors have discovered that boy infants’ blood coagulates best at eight days of age. An interesting coincidence if you ask me.

You don’t need to be circumcised or baptized to enter God’s presence after you die. These are merely tokens of obedience and belonging not necessities.

Faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone. That’s the only hope of entrance into heaven.

Recognizing your failure to be pure enough to enter God’s perfect holiness because of sin is the first step.

Recognizing Jesus as the only man who lived without sin is the next important ingredient.

Accepting Jesus’ death on the cross as something He didn’t deserve, but did to cover our deficit because there’s no way we could ever reach God’s perfection is the defining step we take to be adopted into God’s spiritual family.

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is His proof that He conquered death once and for all.

One major thing happens when we enter heaven, according to Revelation 2:17 we’ll get a white stone with our new name on it.

Oh yeah, we’ll have our entire existence changed from that point on. A new identity will definitely be required at that time. We won’t be anything like we are while living on earth.

Our sin nature will be removed so we can commune with God on an intimate level. Much more intimate that anything we can experience here in this life.

The choice is yours now. You can keep searching for happiness and fulfillment in this life or you can give God your future because of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Personally, I’m curious what my new name is on that perfect white stone.

What about you?

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Happy Day to you!!

I just checked my calendars and discovered that today is Presidents’ Day in the United States. So, to all of you presidents reading this blog…Happy Presidents’ Day to you.

In Canada it’s Flag Day. So, Happy Flag Day to any Canadian flags reading this blog.

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day. So, for any valentines reading this blog…Happy Day After Valentine’s Day.

For anybody who isn’t a president nor a flag nor a valentine…Happy Day to y’all.

Yeah, I fit into that last category the best. I’ve never been elected the president of anything. I’ve only been across the Canadian border once in my life and then I wasn’t a flag at that time. And my valentine walked out on me before we could celebrate the day I sent her a carnation 30 years ago to let her know I was interested in her.

So, what do I have to be happy about?

I was hoping you could tell me cuz I’m a bit bummed out right now.

When I concentrate on my life right now it isn’t pretty. It’s actually quite messy as I wallow in my mire.

So, how do I wish myself a Happy Day?

I stop looking at my life and all its slop that’s built up up to my waist.

Instead of curling up in the fetal position I look forward with optimism. Things are out of my control to a point, but it’s gotta get better.

Rather than crying at what looks like inevitable disaster I look up with expectancy. I know God is in control and has a plan for my mess.

Refusing to throw in the towel I cling to God’s promises and strive to become more like Jesus Christ everyday. That’s what I’m called to do no matter what.

It’s at times like now that I go back and read the portions of the Bible that deal with the transition of leadership between Moses and Joshua.

Two themes are repeated at that time. Be strong and courageous is one of them. Joshua was about to head up a massive operation that was sure to get messy, and it did. The echo of encouragement and strength must have given him hope to take the next step, even when it didn’t make sense.

I will never leave you nor forsake you is the other repeated theme. Moses had to leave Joshua, but God promised to remain at his side. An open line of communication was available to Joshua to guide his every decision.

I’ve spent a great deal of my life by myself the past few years, but I’ve never been alone. Barb left me and cut off all ties to me, but God has always been by my side.

That’s the only thing that keeps me going some days.

There have been times that have gotten me down and out. I’ve felt like I’m just going through the motions. Then God brings a scene to mind from the third book in the series I began to write when I began this crazy writing journey He called me to. I haven’t finished writing the first book, yet.

That’s the proverbial carrot on the stick that keeps me moving forward.

It’s God’s way of showing me His promise of a future I can’t see at this time.

It’s what brings tears to my eyes and a smile on my face when nothing else will.

So, Happy Day y’all!

Keep smiling.   Wade

THE LOST ARE FOUND

“What have I done to deserve any of this? First, you take me from my home. Then you drag me to a foreign land. Now you force your husband on me. Now that I’m carrying his child you treat me even worse than before. I can’t take much more of this.” Hagar stared into Sarai’s eyes.

Sarai spun away and stormed up to Abram. “Hagar is becoming impossible to live with. What are we going to do with her?”

Abram looked over Sarai’s shoulder at Hagar watching from her tent. He shrugged. “She’s your maid servant. Do to her as you wish.”

Hagar collected a few things and exited out the back of the tent.

She stopped at some water when she became too thirsty to continue. Her tears refilled the pool she drank from.

She twisted around at the voice of a man.

“Hagar, where have you come from?”

Hagar wiped the tears from her eyes. “Do I know you?”

“Where is Sarai’s mistress going?”

“I…I can’t stand living with her any more. I have to leave before it’s too late.”

“You are carrying Abram’s son.”

She rubbed her belly. “How do you know?”

“You shall call him Ishmael. He will be wild with many enemies, yet he will live with his brothers and give you many descendants. Return to Sarai now so he’s with his father.”

Hagar gazed at the man. “Are you thirsty?” she turned toward the pool. “I can get you some water.”

When she turned back the man was gone. She looked around and found herself alone. Two footprints occupied where the man stood, but none led to or went away from that spot.

“Surely I have seen the God who sees me.” She rubbed her belly. “Ishmael, God knows you and me.”

She returned to Sarai with renewed hope.

****

Thirteen years later she found herself in Beersheba alone. Ishmael looked asleep under the only shrub she could find in the distance. She couldn’t tell if he was still breathing or not.

Her tears made mud in the dust. “So this is how it all ends. The birds will clean our flesh off our bones.”

A familiar voice came from the sky. “Don’t despair, Hagar. I’ve heard the boy’s tears. Take his hand and go on. He will give you many descendants.”

Hagar looked around to find who was talking to her. It was then she found the oasis not far away. She filled the water skin and gave Ishmael a drink.

********

You can’t convince me God doesn’t pay attention to single moms. This is the first instance of God stepping in to help one out.

Hagar ‘s life hadn’t turned out at all as she had dreamed it would. Circumstances diminished in her youth. She was given to this foreign family who visited Egypt during a drought in their land.

One day a decision was made by the woman who called the shots in her life to allow the husband to conceive a child through her womb for an heir.

Why wouldn’t Hagar be bitter toward Sarai?

Sarai’s jealousy over this young woman carrying her husband’s child only complicated the relationship.

Unable to comprehend the best course of action between these two women Abram left them to themselves.

I’m not at all surprised Hagar left to fend for herself.

I often wonder if Abram ever wanted to try to find her. We aren’t told he did, but God did.

God found her because He had a plan for her and her son. He has a plan for every mom and child. Believe that.

Life is complicated. It always will be. Some people’s lives are more complicated than others.

Nothing is too complicated for God. Nothing.

Society says if a pregnancy complicates your life too much end it and move on.

God says, “I have a plan for both of you. Trust Me. Carry on.”

Nothing surprises God. People make bad decisions all the time. People do bad things to other people every day.

God can even work something good out of those bad things in time.

The pain of the incident is no time to make a permanent decision about this temporary event.

The child can be adopted by a loving family and thrive if you can’t see how you can provide. Childless couples are praying for that chance.

Adoption regrets are easier to live with than abortion regrets.

The days, weeks and months you carry that child will seem endless, but you’ll likely give birth.

The years that follow will be complicated at best. A life will be saved and lived. There’s nothing better than that.

God made Ishmael to thrive in the wild. A bow and arrow were his weapons of choice. Cities probably made him uncomfortable.

Hagar found him a wife from her homeland of Egypt, perhaps a relative. He became a father of many children.

None of that would have happened if God hadn’t stepped into her life at just the right time.

God is still in the habit of stepping into people’s lives at just the right time. His weapon of choice is often other people.

I know other people have helped me when I need help the most. Even when I don’t ask for it.

God heard Hagar when she cried out early in her pregnancy. He heard Ishmael early in his life.

Both of them fulfilled God’s plan for them in time.

Time is the operative word here.

Surround yourself with godly people and good things will eventually happen.

God repeatedly tells His spiritual children to help each other out in the Bible.

Some of them may take advantage of you. They’re still depraved with weak wills.

Many will go out of their way to help you.

That’s God’s favorite way to help folks out today.

Study the Bible to see how God expects you to live.

Share your life with others who do the same.

Expect God to show Himself to you when you most need Him.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

Happy New Year Y’all…um Y’all reading this in China that is.

Don’t you just love how small the world has become with the internet? I know I do.

Who knew there were two new years in the world? Now you do.

The big question becomes: How are you going to take advantage of it?

For those of you who didn’t make any resolutions now you still can. Yes, they do count. At least on this blog they do.

Anybody who gave up on their resolutions now you have a reason to return to it and finish what you started.

If you never make any resolutions it’s never too late to start. Or, you can stay in your comfortable rut you call your life.

Calendars have always been a bit controversial and confusing.

The old Jewish calendars were set to mark time by the moon phases. Their leap years didn’t just add one day at that time, but complete months were added to catch up with the seasons.

In the United States we throw away our extra day in a leap year by holding a national election. Don’t worry, that’s all the politics you’re going to get on this blog.

I think it’s pretty neat how God worked things out so seven day weeks work into 365 days in a year. Then the same date the following year is one day later in the week than it was the previous year.

Some of y’all probably never even noticed that. Did ya?

What’s even more remarkable is God’s mercies are new every single morning. Not just the leap year mornings neither. Every single morning, it says so in the Bible. That’s how I know it’s true.

So, now that you know you get a fresh start each day, even after you messed up the day before, how are you going to take advantage of that fact?

You could continue to wallow in your self-pity and soak up a negative attitude, or you can break out of that rut and start over to be better.

I have a suggestion before you decide to try to become a better person. You can’t do it under your own power so don’t even try.

Along with that fresh dose of mercy God has promised y’all comes the strength to soar like eagles. To run and not grow weary and walk without fainting.

Forget all those self-help gurus who tell y’all ya can if you simply think you can.

Try using that rational on the team that just lost the Super Bowl. That was only their second loss all season. They thought they was good.

The good you need to shoot for is becoming more like Jesus Christ. That’s the only goal worth living for.

In a few months most of those players will be back to practicing for the next championship game in twelve months.

One of the great things about being adopted into God’s spiritual family is the fact that I know I’m on the winning team.

I know because I read the back of the Bible. It gives the final score and we win!!!

You can take that to our heavenly bank where you’ll receive crowns for all the difficult things you’ve survived down here.

Don’t expect to hold onto those crowns for long though. We’ll simply lay them at the feet of the only One worthy of wearing a crown in the kingdom of God.

When Jesus wore that crown of thorns that we all deserved He became the ultimate champion of all champions.

One of the best things about eternity is the fact that there won’t be any calendars to make time.

Yeah, no more birthday reminders neither.

Keep smiling.   Wade

A Covenant From God

A few days after Abram won the battle to get his nephew Lot back home he dozed in his tent.

God appeared to him in a dream. “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I will protect and reward you.”

Abram’s deepest emotion surfaced in his dream. “Lord, I’m still without a direct heir. A boy born to one of my slaves is in line to inherit all I have.”

“Eliezer will not be your heir. A son will come from your own body. Come outside.”

Abram stepped out and saw the moonless sky.

“Count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you’ll have. I brought you here from Ur to give you this land.”

Abram swallowed. “How will I know the land is mine?”

“Bring Me a heifer, a female goat and a ram each one three years old, along with a dove and a pigeon.”

After Abram woke up he took the animals and split each one down the middle and set them in rows opposite each side. The birds were killed intact.

Before long some birds swooped down on the scene. Abram spent the day driving them off.

When the birds retreated at sundown Abram forced his eyes to stay open. When he succumbed to sleep a deep darkness terrified him.

God’s voice was clear. “Your descendants will live in a foreign land for four hundred years in slavery. When they are freed they will have great wealth. You shall die in peace at an old age.”

Abram sat up and looked at the sectioned animals. A burning pot and a torch stood out in the darkness as they moved between the halves Abram prepared.

“I am giving this land to your descendants from the Nile River to the Euphrates River.”

********

The Abrahamic Covenant sure seems grotesque and strange to us, but to Abram it made perfect sense. Similar rituals were in practice by some armies back then. I won’t go into further details.

Abram asked for a sign of assurance the land would be his. God chose an extreme visual circumstance to offer His most sacred promise.

Why didn’t God just tell Abram in a more emphatic way? I don’t know, but I do see some parallels with the crucifixion of Jesus.

Blood was shed by innocent beings. The animals were taken in the prime of their lives. A three year old heifer and goat would be valuable commodities to build a herd from. Killing them was a “no turning back” commitment by Abram and God. Jesus’s ministry ran about three years with His life ending with so many more potentially before Him. He knew His commitment was forever.

A deep darkness was involved. In the middle of the day the sky went completely black during the crucifixion. That was the time all our sins came to rest on our Savior. The darkness symbolized God’s separation from sin. Abram experienced such an extreme darkness it frightened him. That darkness was necessary to display the light of God’s symbolic torch to Abram. Both times got people’s attention.

A promise was made by God. Abram received his promise of his descendants’ inheritance of the land he was in. Jesus’s death was a fulfillment of all the Old Testament sacrifices to cover for the penalty of our sins.  “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” Our promised inheritance is made by an adoption process sealed with Jesus’s blood. The land we’ll receive is the new heaven and new earth revealed to John in the book of Revelation.

In contrast the sacrifice of three animals was small for the wealthy Abram. This was a small fraction of all he had.

Jesus, on the other hand, was God’s one and only Son. No one else could fulfill all He did to be the ultimate sacrifice.

God won’t ask you to give Him something valuable in order to grant your promise. He gave you His most valued possession to verify His level of commitment to you.

I take that back, God does require something extremely valuable from you…your very life.

He didn’t save you just to save you. He wants you to share what He gave you so others will take advantage of His offer of eternal life.

Lay down your life at the cross and you’ll receive so much more in return.

God’s very Spirit will become alive in you to help you become more like his Son, Jesus.

Your priorities will change to match God’s priorities.

Your perspective will change to one of eternal instead of earthly.

Your personality will change to fill with more peace, joy, goodness and gentleness.

All this will occur because the relationship that was lost in Eden will be restored.

Abram’s relationship with God was lived in shadows on an occasional basis.

We hold the promises fulfilled in the Bible and the promise of an eternity with God with no shadows at all.

Abram’s descendants do live in that land he was in when he saw God’s covenant promise many centuries ago.

That should give us solace that all the other promises God has made will come to pass, too.

Read the Bible to discover God’s promises. Lay hold of those promises without taking them out of context.

Some of the promises made in the Bible are for the nation of Israel and/or Judah. Too many people try to claim those for themselves only to come up frustrated.

Much of the Old Testament promises were for God’s people then. Most of the New Testament promises are for us today.

That’s as general as I can be about which promises we can claim as our own.

A more thorough understanding will take too much space and time for this blog.

Scholars study the Bible in depth to understand which promises are for us and what ones aren’t.

An important part of deepening your relationship with God is studying the Bible for yourself.

Memorize important verses to use in times of need.

God’s promises are for real.

I’ll see you later.   Wade

A blog post/newsletter from a man with not enough hours in my day

I know I’m not the only person who needs more hours in my day in order to get everything done, so I’ll try to keep this short so you can find a few extra minutes in yours.

Since this is February 1st I’m supposed to put out a newsletter for just my faithful subscribers. But, since I need to go to sleep soon (I’m writing this on Sunday evening) I’m going to combine my weekly humor post with my monthly newsletter.

Since 100 PRAYERS OF A WRITER is near completion I have two things I know from the experience. 1) the launch date for Amazon and bookstores is March 28th, a week after my birthday; and 2) it took about nine months from start to finish for this project with Tate Publishing.

With number 2 fresh on my mind I had a decision to make about three projects I’ve been shopping around for a very long time. All three manuscripts have a Christmas theme so an October release is most beneficial for them. I learnt that from eavesdropping at a writers’ conference.

I honestly thought the trip to Michigan last October would open a door for someone to take at least one of these projects on. Apparently God only brought me that far to show me the doors that might open there are closed, too.

I’ve heard it said that a writer needs to concentrate on one genre when starting out so readers know what to expect when they buy one of your books. I’ve also learned that God gives multiple genres to some folks for unknown reasons. I happen to be one of those select few who gets the smorgasbord approach from the giver of stories.

So, I decided, after some time on my knees (and face at times) to go against conventional wisdom and the thoughts of those in the “know” in today’s publishing world, and I submitted all thrdrdreee (I can’t believe how easy it is to rolled one’s r’s in writing) projects to Tate Publishing last week.

I just spent this evening putting the promotional copy together for my middle-grade novel titled EEK’S GIFTS (the 1st story I completed); an adult contemporary novella titled SOMETHING’S GOTTA CHANGE (Eek inspired that one so he could lead a wealthy businessman to Christ); and a devotional titled THE EXTRA ORDINARY CHRISTMAS How God used ordinary people to bring the most extraordinary person into the world (this blog has been a series of such devotionals since I first composed most of those chapters here over 4 years ago). Yeah, Tate wants them all.

For those of y’all keeping score that’s four genres (including 100 Prayers) and three (with unrolled r’s) books coming out at the same time.

Yeah, I done went and jumped off the deep end this time.

If this here blog goes silent from time to time take it as a sign I’m over my head in editing too many manuscripts at the same time along with driving trucks and painting stuff. I hope I get multiple crowns for living multiple lives when I get to heaven.

I’m not surprised work has picked up recently. What can I say? When it rains it snows (I know multiple genres run in my veins apparently).

Add on top of all that I have a networking breakfast this Wednesday morning that could get my business venture off the ground potentially. Yeah, another genre of work too. Yikes!

Other than that my life’s pretty dull and boring just like yours.

Your prayers are not only appreciated but essential.

Thank you verrrrrrry much (no those r’s aren’t rolled just making a point).

Keep smiling(and praying).   Wade